“I’m in­ter­ested in es­says be­cause

Poets and Writers - - Trends - –DANA ISOKAWA

the def­i­ni­tion of them seems to be chang­ing all the time,” says Chelsea Hod­son, whose de­but es­say col­lec­tion, Tonight I’m Some­one Else, comes out this month from Henry Holt. Hod­son’s own es­says, which tend to­ward the lyric and frag­men­tary, braid per­sonal rec­ol­lec­tions of youth and lost love with med­i­ta­tions and apho­ris­tic asides to cre­ate dream­like ex­plo­rations of mem­ory and the need for hu­man con­nec­tion. Through the lens of her ex­pe­ri­ences—such as as­sist­ing the

NASA Mars mis­sion in Tuc­son, Ari­zona, or ob­serv­ing the per­for­mance artist Ma­rina Abramovic´—Hod­son probes our de­sire to un­der­stand one an­other. “What’s the point of long­ing?” she writes. “To con­tinue.” Hod­son, who also writes po­etry, has pub­lished her work in the jour­nals listed be­low, among oth­ers.

“I think progress in writ­ing can be ex­tremely hard to quan­tify, and sub­mit­ting to lit­er­ary jour­nals can be one way to push against that,” says Hod­son. “Hav­ing some­thing pub­lished feels pur­pose­ful, and hav­ing ed­i­to­rial feed­back helped me keep work­ing.” Hod­son pub­lished her very first piece, “Ev­ery­thing Goes Up”—a poem, not an es­say—in

EOAGH (eoagh.com) in 2009. “I liked how the poem seemed to be kind of whim­si­cally self-know­ing, tonally strange, and la­bile yet talk­ing about real things rather than be­ing ‘sur­real,’” says Trace Peter­son, the found­ing edi­tor of EOAGH. “It had a qual­ity of ask­ing slightly face­tious ques­tions in a dead­pan way but with­out any im­pli­ca­tion of snark.” Pub­lished an­nu­ally on­line, EOAGH, which also runs a small press, seeks to “fore­ground the writ­ing of ex­per­i­men­tal women, trans, fem­i­nist, trans­fem­i­nist,

POC, anti-racist, and LGBT/queer au­thors.” Al­though the jour­nal is mostly fo­cused on po­etry, Peter­son says the ed­i­tors are open to “writ­ing that is strange and bizarre in a va­ri­ety of ways.” Sub­mis­sions for the next is­sue will open soon via e-mail. uu Hod­son wrote her es­say “Sec­ond Row”—about a singer for a lo­cal band in Phoenix, where she grew up, and the dif­fer­ence be­tween long­ing and love—for the “Kay Boyle & Love” is­sue of the Scofield (thescofield .com), a dig­i­tal bian­nual run by writer Tyler Malone. “I like that the Scofield lives on­line,” says Hod­son. “The de­sign of ev­ery is­sue is al­ways beau­ti­ful, and it makes it so eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one.” Each is­sue of the Scofield re­volves around an un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated writer and a theme present in that writer’s work, such as “Re­nata Adler & Drift” and “Ko‾ bo‾ Abe & Home.” The Scofield pub­lishes po­etry, fic­tion, nonfiction, phi­los­o­phy, art, re­views, and mis­cel­lany by both liv­ing and dead artists. The jour­nal ac­cepts queries or pitches via e-mail year-round. uu At coed­i­tor Zoe Dzunko’s in­vi­ta­tion, Hod­son wrote and pub­lished an es­say in the on­line edi­tion of the Lifted Brow (the­lift­ed­brow.com) in which she mused on Mi­randa July’s now-de­funct Some­body app, through which peo­ple sent dig­i­tal mes­sages that were then de­liv­ered by ran­dom strangers. Liv­ing up to its name, the

Lifted Brow is nei­ther fully high­brow nor low­brow and pub­lishes a blend of po­etry, fic­tion, nonfiction, comics, art, sex ad­vice, and in­ter­views. Edited in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia, the print quar­terly—which also runs a small press, Brow Books—pub­lishes writ­ers from Aus­tralia and else­where; re­cent con­trib­u­tors in­clude po­ets Chen Chen and Craig San­tos Perez and fic­tion writ­ers An­drés Barba and Han­nah Gior­gis. Sub­mis­sions in all gen­res will open later this sum­mer via Sub­mit­table. uu Hod­son notes that five years ago many lit­er­ary jour­nals would pub­lish only nar­ra­tive-driven mem­oir or lyric es­says. The on­line jour­nal Sun­dog Lit (sun­doglit .com) has per­haps al­ways been om­niv­o­rous in its nonfiction tastes and in 2014 pub­lished Hod­son’s es­say “Your Voice, Sav­ing Me,” which leapt from con­sid­er­a­tions of chem­i­cal war­fare to the na­ture of truth to re­mem­brances of an ado­les­cent friend­ship. Es­tab­lished in 2012, the bian­nual pub­lishes po­etry, fic­tion, nonfiction, and art. “We are cool with tra­di­tional per­sonal es­say and mem­oir,” note the nonfiction ed­i­tors. “We LOVE us some ex­per­i­men­tal, re­search­driven stuff. Seg­mented. Lyric. Es­says writ­ten in a bowl of al­pha­bet soup. Sur­prise us.” Sub­mis­sions in all gen­res will re­open in the fall via Sub­mit­table. uu “I worked on my book for about six years,” says Hod­son, “so ev­ery time I pub­lished some­thing, it was a lit­tle re­minder that I was still work­ing and still en­gaged with the lit­er­ary com­mu­nity.” Hod­son found that com­mu­nity through the on­line jour­nal Vol. 1

Brook­lyn (vol1brook­lyn .com). Not only did Ja­son Di­a­mond, its found­ing edi­tor, pub­lish her es­say about read­ing Seneca, but he also in­tro­duced her to Kevin Sampsell, the edi­tor of Fu­ture Tense Books, which pub­lished Hod­son’s chap­book Pity the An­i­mal in 2014. Vol. 1 Brook­lyn con­nects many writ­ers and artists in Brook­lyn, New York, and be­yond, with its reg­u­lar read­ings and steady stream of con­tent, in­clud­ing a story ev­ery Sun­day, an es­say ev­ery other Wed­nes­day, daily roundups of lit­er­ary news, and book re­views and in­ter­views. Sub­mis­sions are open year-round via Sub­mit­table.

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